Monday, December 21, 2009

Gretel Gets Ready for Christmas

Getting ready for Christmas takes a lot of effort. Bare bottom time with your dog and your Smartwool socks is a must....

Practicing that big smile for the camera is also imperative.

Taking a rest between all these smiles is important as well.

Hey, she's getting pretty good at this stuff!

More Lights and Wonderful Insulation

Living with bare bulbs has gotten old, and as a Christmas present to ourselves, Casey and I decided to have a few light fixtures repaired. This one was found in the basement when we initially cleaned all the junk out of our house. We think it is probably the original dining room fixture dating back to the 1910s. The folks at Hippo Hardware got it back into working order and cleaned it up. We love its beautiful old patina.

The light in the living room was a gift from my aunt and uncle Barb and Jerry Porter. It is made of plaster and had the guys at Hippo drooling and offering Casey oodles of items in trade! I guess these are pretty rare and quite unusual to find in such good condition. So it too adds an incredibly original feel to the house and is quite gorgeous with its rich colors and fancy tassel.

Last but not least, and certainly none too soon, we got tons of insulation installed last week! All attic spaces now have knee-deep insulation and the ceiling of the basement is completely insulated as well! Casey had to spend a full day prepping for the work - drilling vent holes, sealing all the cracks with spray foam, getting all the old unworthy insulation out, running wires and pipe in the basement ceiling before everything got covered up.... Here he is in his moon suit before heading into the attic. (Incidentally, he does quite an impressive moon-walk in this outfit!)

Jaime's Back In Town!

Our friend Jaime, who has spent the past year working for a prominent Landscape Architecture firm in Germany, has finally moved back to Portland! She spent her first week home staying with us and got to meet Gretel for the first time. They hit it off right away!

Jaime caught us in the bustle of Christmas preparations, and was a big help with working on special projects, helping with decorations and keeping Gretel amused. Gretel enjoyed the extra attention!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Christmas with the Camerons"

I've been enjoying "Christmas with the Camerons" for many years now. This year was full of wonderful food, great company, Christmas carols and general good cheer. Andrea's mom, aka Mims, brought these funny headbands and also gave Gretel a beautiful Christmas dress (along with Andrea's sister Kare) for her first Christmas!

Gretel in her new dress!

Crazy headband crew: Andrea, Liesl, Casey, Kare and Henry

Mims and Grandpa Tom brough oysters as a treat. We ate them baked with a lime juice/hot sauce mixture. YUM!! Here's Alistair licking oyster shells.

Miley kissing Gretel.

And here's a face I know (and love) well from 10 years as her cubemate.....!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Two Teeth!

What's new with this little girly today? Why her first two teeth, of course! This morning Gretel was not as interested in reading her book as chewing on her book. She has had yet another cold and is about as slobbery as one baby girl can be. I took a peek in her mouth just on a hunch and sure enough, two pearly whites are poking through on the bottom of her mouth! I tried to take some photos but, well, you can imagine what a challenge that would be! So instead feast your eyes on the Clivia in its full glory. Wow!

And a video of Gretel playing for those of you who don't get to see her regularly....

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Here's Casey hanging Christmas lights on our house today. We're guessing these could possibly be the first Christmas lights this house has ever seen. And below, the finished product! We're sure getting into the holiday spirit this year!

Thanksgiving in Bellingham!

We spent Thanksgiving this year with a group of friends dating back to my Lewis and Clark days. Jenn and Jason live in Bellingham and so we made the journey up for some great food and company! All the couples present have had babies in the past two years so it was lots of fun to introduce Gretel to all of the adults and babies too! Here is Gretel meeting baby Lucy for the first time. Gretel got to wear her new Thanksgiving outfit which Grandma Liz made especially for her!

The husbands and their babies. L-R: Casey and Gretel, Jason and Lucy, Dave and Neve, and Brendan with Kieran.

And then the mothers, who coordinated their outfits, quite unintentionally! L-R: Liesl and Gretel, Jenn and Lucy, Libby and Neve, and Senneh and Kieran. Did I mention we're lined up based on the age of the baby, so Gretel is the youngest of this crowd.

And here is Gretel with her Pops getting ready to head off to bed.

We had a great visit with these LC nerds and also had some wonderful visits with a few other friends that live in Bellingham, the Donnellys and the Lambs. Who knew we had so many friends in Bellingham??!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Odds and Ends

Our Clivia is blooming, which hasn't happened in a couple of years, so I couldn't resist getting some pictures of Gretel with it.

Gretel recently got a package from Grammie Daisy with this hat and blanket in it. The blanket was made by Gretel's great great grandmother, Myrtle Warner, probably for one of my sisters. The hat was given to Grammie Daisy by a friend of hers in Cannon Beach back in the 70's. It's still a little big for Gretel but sure is cute, and really brings out the blue of her eyes! Both items are treasures to have, to be sure. Thank you Grammie Daisy!

And here's a random picture of Alistair stuck in the compost pile. He thought he'd hit the jackpot when he found a way in, until he couldn't figure out how to get back out!

Sitting Up?

Okay, okay, maybe her parents have been helping her out a little bit here and there, but Gretel really does enjoy being in the sitting up position. She's still pretty floppy though. If she's leaning forward she can stay erect for a good 15 seconds or so before taking a dive into the floor. She has been conveniently propped up in all of these photos...but she's still pretty darned cute!

Let's Play!

Gretel is all about playing these days. She plays in her gym, she plays in the bath, she plays at the piano, she plays at the table while we eat, she just plays everywhere! Here she is in her exersaucer, or her "office" as we like to call it. We think this contraption is a monstrosity, but she will spend nearly an hour at a time yanking on things, batting the toys, and yacking at them! Can't really argue too much with that kind of fun!

This weekend she discovered that trusty toy of generations - the cottage cheese carton!

She loves these squishy Pooh blocks that I got at a consignment sale too. Here's a video of she and Alistair playing hard!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Little Miss Blue Eyes

Casey and I are pretty sure these blue eyes come from Grampy Frank. We've got lots of hazel and green eyes in the family but his are the only ones we can think of that are this clear blue color. We think they might stay this way - we'll see!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Day in the Life of Gretel June Deck

It's a typical day in Gretel's life. Mom and Gretel get up and after breakfast Mom kisses Gretel goodbye as she heads for work.

Gretel then proceeds to look cute for awhile.

Then Nanny Sara feeds her and Gretel takes a nap.
It's time for Gretel to play! The Johnny jump up is a favorite!

Pops comes home from work and takes over from Sara. They hang out in the kitchen and make supper.

Then Mom comes home and Gretel and Mom play the piano for awhile.

After that Gretel is getting sleepy so Pops reads her a bedtime story before she heads off to the crib.

Good night!

Sleep, Glorious Sleep!!!

Yes, this is the face of someone who is sleeping like a baby these days! Gretel's pediatrician recommended that we not feed her in the middle of the night when she wakes up. Instead we are to go in, pat her on the bottom, tell her we love her and go back to bed. We've been doing this for a week now and after a few nights she didn't even wake up! We've had 8+ hours of non-stop sleep for several days now and how wonderful we feel! Thanks Dr. June!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Four Months Old!

Gretel is now 4 months old! We went to her checkup yesterday and she's......

14 lbs 10 oz - 75th percentile

24 inches long - 50th percentile


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gretel's First Halloween!

We had a spooky good time this Halloween! It started out with Gretel eyeing the candy.....

Then the Tappan-Pecks and the Hess family came over for tacos and trick-or-treating. Here are a hodge podge of photos from our evening.

Jenn was Mrs. Viola Swamp, Sid was a farmer,

Oscar was a monkey, and.....

Soleo was a monkey too!

Sally was an awesome Word Girl

Orion was a "superman" (he designed the costume himself and Sally made it)

Wednesday was a beautiful butterfly (with wings she painted herself!)

And these three characters' costumes speak for themselves! It was a great evening and we hope to make a tradition of it! (Notice the neat Halloween banner behind us - a gift from Grandma Liz!)